A 1-year-old girl that barely got to meet her baby brother before he passed away attended his funeral wearing an exceptional dress. The fabric contained photos of the short but sweet moments they spend together.
Hallie-Mae got to be a big sister for a few hours before saying goodbye to her baby brother Lucas-Jay, who tragically died nine hours after he was born.
Hallie’s mother, Jasmine McCaffery, thought it was a good idea to dress her little girl in a gown that physically expressed the love she had for her baby brother. She wore it to the boy’s funeral as a heart-wrenching tribute.
Jasmine, from Blackpool, told the Mirror:
"She wore the dress with pride because she knew that it was her little baby brother. It made us feel like our baby boy was always with us and that he will always be with us even though he isn't here. She loved how frilly it was, and she kept point to his photos saying 'aw baby!' And even went to give his photo a kiss."
The grieving mother also revealed Hallie has a matching blanket that she hugs to sleep, and stated, although her girl might to fully understand the depth of her loss, she understands to a certain extent. “She took to being his big sister straight away; she was there through every step. They both have a bond like no other,” she added.
But Jasmine and her partner, Kyle Barton, have tried their best to remain strong and with a positive attitude for their little girl, rarely showing their emotions and holding it for when she’s not around. She said:
“Even though we're upset, she hardly sees that she just sees the love we have for him, and that's really rubbed off on her too."
The couple was told on Jasmine’s 20-week scan that Lucas had half a working heart, and his chances of surviving were at 50%. But the parents were optimistic and decided to continue the pregnancy to give their baby a chance.
Lucas had a cardiac arrest one hour after being born, and even though doctors were able to stabilize him, he sadly passed away when he was nine-hours old.
Hallie arrived at the hospital just in time to meet her brother and share some moments with him. The girl, Jasmine said, has been her rock through the entire process.
"On the day of his funeral she saw us upset in the family car, she was sat in the middle of us both and just reached out to grab both of our hands and never let go the entire journey,” she recalled.
The family visits Lucas every week and are holding each other through these difficult times.
Every year thousands of premature babies are born all around the world. Sometimes, they are born with pre-diagnosed illnesses that dictate their life-span, but others, they have a real chance in life and spend months in the ICU.
Usually, the mothers of premature babies haven’t started to produce milk, which left them with a sense of failure for not being able to feed their babies and provide the necessary nutrients every child needs at birth.
Feeding these babies with formula gives them a high risk of developing a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition known as Necrotising enterocolitis.
So, to save more babies lives, the Australian government in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, recently inaugurated the first-ever Milk Bank in New South Wales.
According to the Sidney Morning Herald, “2000 litres of milk will be delivered to nine NICUs in NSW every year to feed an estimated 1000 babies.”
Brad Hazzard, NSW Health Minister, said:
"Breast milk is liquid gold for these little ones at this critical time as it contains all the vital nutrients essential for growth and protection against disease. Many mums of premmie babies can experience problems with their milk supply, but now mums can access donor milk, while efforts to boost their own supply continue.”
The donated milk will go through a pasteurization process to eradicate all possible bacteria and infections before distributing it to hospitals.
New moms in Sidney that produce more milk than their babies need are encouraged to donate the rest. Donors go through a screening process to see if they’re fit for the procedure.
January 30, 2019